Evangelicalism and the Bush Presidency.

Jeffrey Hart, Professor of English Emeritus, has a very good article today in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. He argues that the Bush presidency is populist and radical, not conservative, and its policies are corrupted by the influence of Christian extremism. He traces the periodic ‘awakenings’ in American history–“sustained by no structure of ideas”–and their pernicious influence in the current administration.

If we recall Leo Strauss’s formulation that “Athens and Jerusalem” — science and spiritual aspiration — are the core of Western civilization, American Evangelicalism is a threat to both, through ignorance of both.

Except for that major qualification, Evangelicalism would not matter much if it were a private superstition, a sort of hobby, except that the Evangelicalism of the Bush variety has real and often dangerous effects on the world in which the rest of us, and even they, live.

You can find the text here. This is important, I think.